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Open mike 11/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 11th, 2011 - 56 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

56 comments on “Open mike 11/05/2011 ”

  1. Bored 1

    You might think Merkel is just another right wing toughie with Thatcher pretensions, and then she shocks us all. Proof that common sense can prevail despite political alignments, that reality can be recognised and planned for.

    Merkel has set a goal for the end of coal, and nuclear power for Germany. She wants Germans to be clean green and self sufficient / sustainable. Brave women, she gets my vote for political statement of the year.


    • satty 1.1

      You obviously don’t follow German politics much.

      She is an opportunist like many other politicians. She changed her stand on this within a couple of hours – from pro-Nuclear to anti-Nuclear – trying to avoid the loss of a state election in Baden-Württenberg, which was governed by her party the CDU since the second world war. To no avail: The Greens are forming a coalition with the Reds (SPD or Labour) and not the other way around (Reds coalition with Green).

      According to polls, this is now even a possible scenario country-wide, which means she and her party would loose power, if the election would be now.

      She certainly clashed with the Atom-lobby and some prominent figures within her own party. It could mean a significant amount of penalties the government might have to pay to the Atom generating companies on top of the investment of green sustainable energy.

      So as soon as Fukushima, the “nuclear fear” evaporates and the Green’s poll results are lower, this will almost certainly changes again.

      • Bored 1.1.1

        Satty, you are right I dont follow German politics much, so its nice to get a closer opinion. What I found interesting was not the cynical political opportunism you point out but that a major political figure had made a statement that showed recognition of a real issue. Could you keep us up to speed with things German as it goes on?

      • ZeeBop 1.1.2

        Germany customers are looking for greener products, all Merkel is doing is exactly what Thatcher did except Merkel is moving greenward. Thatcher did not dig open the largest oil find in the world, but the stark reality of what that meant was realized by the Tories. Low cost oil would need low cost credit or the UK would be left behind.
        And now the Germans ‘get it’, that the customers of the future want energy savings, and German can alter its energy economy to build those alternatives at home, and so deliver to the market products Germany will build in the future.
        How is that hard to understand? Maybe its just the kiwi business mentality that customers are the enemy. Our legislative mix in NZ makes capital farming profitable, that means short changing customers and growing CEO bonuses, that switch and bait is now so routine in the NZ economy.
        Distortion is how a kiwi business gets ahead in the NZ economy, it harms the economy but who cares it not like we care child poverty is up, or prisons are full, or anyone with a good idea will jump on the next flight, its how kiwis choose to do business.
        And quite funny that when a leader of Germany is compared to our own reckless social leadership, foreign leaders have to take question time, they have hundreds of politicians vying for their job, not like NZ where we limit our political class to 120 + a few mayors. We are poorly led because we don’t spend enough on having more politicians, and more politics.
        German is buying heavily into alternative energy because that’s where the money is.
        That’s how absurd our leadership is, we sell 100% pure until it becomes fashionable and
        then we got big carbon with more roads like the oil age had just started.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.3

        So as soon as Fukushima, the “nuclear fear” evaporates and the Green’s poll results are lower, this will almost certainly changes again.

        The article says that Germany has had a long term commitment to green electricity generation for some time and they already source significant quantities of power from renewable sources.

        BTW the Fukushima disaster is going to be ongoing. It’s not leaving any time soon.

  2. logie97 2

    So once again, the fat cats in parliament, sitting on gilt-edged schemes of their own, are about to screw the rest of the country. “Government for the people by the people…” what a laugh.

  3. Fascist Kyle Chapman is an idiot.  He has just been on National Radio defending his particular form of idiocy with the claim that he is exercising freedom of speech.

    There  is freedom of speech but it is a defence rather than a weapon.  It prevents the state doing anything about its exercise unless the circumstances are extreme.

    But it does not prevent idiots and morons being described as such and being castigated for the crap that they may spew.  The proper response is to call them idiots rather than to seek that their speech be banned.

    • felix 3.1

      We should never ban idiots like Chapman from expressing themselves, they need to be seen and heard for what they are so they can be treated with the contempt they deserve.

  4. Carol 4

    Unbelievable arrogance, not to mention rewarding their big support by punishing their supporters:


    National is gambling its record support in the polls will cushion it from fallout over election campaign pledges to cut KiwiSaver and sell stakes in state assets.

    As new figures show government borrowing has hit a new high of $380 million a week, Prime Minister John Key has confirmed cuts will be made to the Government’s near $1 billion annual bill for KiwiSaver.


    He insists the cuts to make KiwiSaver “sustainable and affordable” will not breach his 2008 election pledge. That suggests National will announce the changes in the May 19 Budget but make the cuts next year after seeking a fresh mandate from voters at the November 26 election.

    National’s policy in 2008 promised to keep the $1000 kickstart, keep the tax credit worth up to $1040 a year and other benefits, leaving little room for significant savings.

    Taking the cuts to voters as part of the election campaign is the same approach it is using with plans to sell up to 49 per cent of state assets.

    Finance Minister Bill English confirmed yesterday that the deficit this year would be the worst in New Zealand’s history at more than $16 billion.

    Meanwhile, I see the righties who were crowing about a stuff poll last week, where the majority didn’t seem to be that bothered about some of Key’s spending on travel etc, aren’t saying anything about the latest stuff poll, which shows just over 50% think National is breaking it’s election promise on Kiwisaver…. oh, I see, the poll didn’t ask whether the changes should/shouldn’t be made, and now Stuff is reassuring us that Key is reassuring us that he won’t be breaking his promise… by seeking a mandate for them in a second term.

    And Stuff polls always lean to the right.

    PS: On the MSM and bloggers saying Labour spend to much time of criticising the government for trivialiities, and/or the government policies and not enough talking about their own policies…. on RNZ Morning Report, Cunliffe wanted to add to his criticism of the government’s policies by stating Labour’s policies, and was stopped by the interviewer.

  5. Deadly_NZ 5

    I take anything stuff and the Herald says to do with politics with a large grain of salt.

    but with all the little online polls running at about 50/50 ish maybe 40/60 in Favour of the NACTS it has to be asked with the state of Labour at the moment what’s to stop a lot of people who would normaly vote labour just say they are dead and don’t even bother to take any more notice of the media, and even worse than that they DON’T VOTE for anyone.

  6. The Voice of Reason 6

    Another pathetic crim wastes valuable court time on a pointless appeal:


    • Deadly_NZ 6.1

      It’s just whale losing another court case, and wasting the courts time and money maybe instead of the $130.00 costs, they should charge him the real rate, that would be thousands, bet he would shut up then.

    • ianmac 6.2

      Mind you we should all have access to the courts. Part of democracy/justice.

  7. Carol 7

    I often watch question time in parliament, but hadn’t ever taken notice of questions for written answer. There’s some interesting questions in there:


  8. joe90 8

    Preaching to choir but Roger Ebert says it all with: The One-Percenters.

    What puzzles me is why there isn’t more indignation. The Tea Party is the most indignant domestic political movement since Norman Thomas’s Socialist Party, but its wrath is turned in the wrong direction. It favors policies that are favorable to corporations and unfavorable to individuals. Its opposition to Obamacare is a textbook example. Insurance companies and the health care industry finance a “populist” movement that is manipulated to oppose its own interests. The billionaire Koch brothers payroll right wing front organizations that oppose labor unions and financial reform. The patriots wave their flags and don’t realize they’re being duped.

  9. todd 9

    Rental Properties Over-priced by 43%


    A recent OECD report has confirmed what a lot of renters already know; their residential rents are overpriced, on average by 43%. The OECD’s price-to-rent ratio shows the high over-valuation utilising figures gained in the past 20 years. Effectively renters are paying top dollar for crappy housing; that is adversely affecting their health and ability to escape the poverty trap.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Collapsing Revenue

    So, what has caused this collapse in revenue? The recession carries some blame, certainly, leading to lower revenue from GST and company taxes. But the prime culprit here is the government’s 2010 “tax switch”, which radically cut the top tax rate. While the rise in GST – something else Key promised not to do – was supposed to compensate for this, the recession meant that it didn’t. The result has been a billion dollar a year hole in the government books, all of which has been effectively redistributed to the richest New Zealanders.

    National, stealing from NZ and giving to themselves and their rich mates.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    And someone should really tell Charles Chauvel that having his web address (www.charles2011.co.nz) redirecting to his Facebook page isn’t helping.

  12. Carol 12

    Questions for orasl answer were quite late going online today. I wonder what the hold up was. Anyway, looks to be a fiery session:


    Questions to Ministers

    1. AMY ADAMS to the Minister of Finance: How will the Budget next week help lift national savings?

    2. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that “all savings the Government makes helps in the current financial position we are in”?

    3. HILARY CALVERT to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers; if so, why?

    4. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Minister of Finance: What does he consider to be the main strategic changes required to the economy that Budget 2011 will address?

    5. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his comments in the House yesterday that, “intensification of dairy operations will have had some impact on our river quality…But in reality, the impact is not great…”; if so, why?

    6. Hon JIM ANDERTON to the Associate Minister of Health: Is he satisfied that New Zealanders have adequate access to affordable dental healthcare?

    7. JO GOODHEW to the Minister of Agriculture: What steps has the Government recently taken to support the development of water storage and irrigation?

    8. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement in relation to DPS that “I can’t say I do or don’t want it”?

    9. KATRINA SHANKS to the Acting Minister of Energy and Resources: What recent milestones have been celebrated under the Government’s Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart scheme?

    10. CLARE CURRAN to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology: Has he been advised that the regulatory arrangement around the ultrafast broadband network will be worth up to $600 million and who will pay for it?

    11. NIKKI KAYE to the Minister of Customs: What interceptions of Contac NT has the Customs Service achieved in the last month at our border?

    12. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister responsible for Ministerial Services: Has he now been fully briefed on all of the details regarding the replacement of VIP transport’s BMW fleet; if not, why not?

    • Sam 12.1

      Chris Hipkins is a lightweight MP, asking lightweight questions.

      [lprent: Have you read the policy yet. Read my note here. Tell me when you have done so and that you won’t waste my time in the future and I’ll drop the auto-moderation.

      You should also look at the quality of your comments as well. With ones like this and the last one, I’m likely to kick you off the site as being a idiot troll. ]

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        You’re a light weight poster spreading other people’s opinons as you are told to. How sad, how spineless, never mind.

      • Carol 12.1.2

        Actually, the supplementary involves a question about the subsequent $50,000 donation to the National Party, after the spending on the BMW upgrade.

        • Deadly_NZ

          Yep A light weight Chris Hipkins may be, however where the fuck does Shonkey get off on his behaviour in the house he is a rude, arrogant, evasive, dishonest, snake oil, smoke and mirrors, all carefully hidden behind the smile and wave persona, which however seems to be crumbling, his evasiveness on answers, followed by personal attacks, would beg a man who is trying to hold it all together, calmly. Whilst behind him are the slavering dogs called Brash, Act, and Crosby/Textor are baying for well not blood as much as money and votes. But blood will do.

    • PeteG 12.2

      That’s a depressingly trivial set of questions. What the heck is this sort of thing aiming at?

      3. HILARY CALVERT to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers; if so, why?

      Is she trying to put the PM on the spot (has he got time to detail his reasons on all of them)?
      Or is she trying to expose Hide?

      It would be good if parliament could at least pretend to be mature.

      • lprent 12.2.1

        It is the Act poodle party doing patsy questions for Key.

        It allows him to waffle on about his minister and how good they all are (bears no resemblance to the lacklustre screwups that they actually are).

        • Carol

          Actually, her supplementaries involved being critical of Nats for not supporting a re-introduction of the youth wage.

        • PeteG

          There were som eother obvious patsies there to. That’s as bad as this approach:

          Labour was truly firing in Parliament yesterday…..

          Labour’s current parliamentary tactic is to turn ministers’ question-time into New Zealand’s equivalent of Prime Minister’s question-time in the British House of Commons.

          The party devoted its allocation of five questions solely to going after Key.

          …. – with the accuracy of an antique blunderbuss.

          Kids trying to score wee points when there’s a big country to be run – most of the efforts of all MPs should be representing their constituents, for the good of the country, instead they squabble over toys.

          • Colonial Viper

            Antique blunderbuss’ are perfect for sorting out right wing pirates at close range.

    • Hmmm National received a donation from Team McMillan BMW at about the same time that the Government renewed the BMW contract.  A certain smell emanates from this transaction.  I wonder if the two events are related?

      • mickysavage 12.3.1

        The story from Mallard is that John Key went to a fundraiser at BMW, the Government then signed the rollover contract and two days later a donation of $50,000 was made to the National Party by Team McMillan BMW.
        What is that word starting with “C” again?

        • Carol

          Whoa! Yes. Mallard really tore into Key on that one. He said we don’t use the word “corruption” in this House, but if that happened in many other countries (UK, Thailand etc) they would call it “corruption.” And he said Key was using the behaviour of a Merril Lynch Trader and didn’t know how a PM should behave.

        • PeteG

          Did they make any donations to any parties when the contract was put in place three years ago? Can you check back that far?

          • Carol

            Well, according to Mallard it’s just not in the Labour playbook…. so he’s saying, “no”.

          • mickysavage

            You really are a piece.  A sign of possible corruption and you trot out CT counter attack line no 1, “say they did it too”.
            Go on, agree that it is a bad look and should be investigated.
            And after that come up with a shred of evidence to back up your smear.

            • Carol

              And this was Key’s response to the allegation:


              The National Party received a donation from a BMW franchise just days after a deal was made for the government to buy a new fleet of cars.

              Key said he had “no responsibility for that” and that Eagleson did not remember the meeting.

              “That’s the very reason why contracts, as subject to the Cabinet manual, are actually made by ministerial services to avoid accusations of inappropriate conduct,” Key said.

              Key had previously claimed he was unaware of the upgrade, despite four National MPs sitting on the committee that discussed the upgrade.

              • Anthony

                Wow, just wow.

                • Jim Nald

                  PM BMW is in the news again. Norty norty

                • Carol

                  Well, it’s certain that the donation was given to the National Party and at the time Labour claims. key’s latest reply is that the BMW dealership that gave the donation was not the same outfit that the Ministers’ BMW’s came from. yet the dates make it seem a very strange coioncidence.

                  Stuff follows Key’s line in saying it’s just Labour’s smear tactics.


                  Prime Minister John Key said the company named by Labour was not the one that supplied the ministerial BMW’s.

                  Mr Mallard went further in Parliament accusing Mr Key personally of transferring “the morals and ethics of Merrill Lynch – a company that was at the end of a lot of deals and went down when the financial crisis came” to New Zealand.

                  He later accused Labour of stooping to the gutter with false allegations and innuendo.

                  “In the House today Labour has falsely assorted corrupt dealings in relation to the contract between the Department of Internal Affairs and BMW NZ Ltd to roll over the VIP Transport contract.

                  “BMW is not the same entity as the one named by a Labour MP as having made a donation to the National Party.”

                  “This is not only a baseless smear on my integrity it is also a smear on the integrity of officials in the Department of Internal Affairs who are responsible for the contract.”

            • mickysavage

              Key now says that the donation was made by a different company!  I am convinced and apologise. Of course a company is totally unable to make a donation to a political party when a related company receives a sweetheart deal.
              How could I be so wrong?

              • Jim Nald

                Perhaps someone can come up with a ‘bullshit-meter’ into which donkey fiction, fluff and manufactured facts can be periodically entered and displayed for the months leading up to the polls?

  13. PeteG 13

    Working for Families targeted:

    Mr Key said Working for Families would also be better targeted at lower income families while being less generous to wealthier families.

    “We will do this gradually, in a way that minimises the impact on families.”

    That sounds like a sensible change.

    • Puddleglum 13.1

      He had better be cautious, however, given the tendency of many commenters on the right (certainly on here) arguing the toss over whether or not someone on $70,000 pa is ‘wealthy’ or not (as opposed to being struggling ordinary families) whenever tax rates are discussed.

      Of course, he did use the comparative ‘wealthier’ so he may not be making a claim about what amounts to being ‘wealthy’. He could have equally said ‘less poor’, I suppose? (But that might not have quite done the discursive work he wanted the phrasing to achieve.)

      • Herodotus 13.1.1

        Funny thing is that a single income family on $70k gets less to live on than a doule income family and they both are entitled to the same WFF benefit. Until there is a recognition on disposable income there will be inconsistancies, at least Nat are comming to the realisation of looking further afield in the definition of income, something others have failed to see.
        The way cost of living is going perhaps only those top CEO’s on an income above $150k will be above a livable after tax wage !!!!

    • Deadly_NZ 13.2

      Working for Families would also be better targeted at lower income families.
      Yep when we find out that the last cut was a bust these are the next in line!

      “We will do this gradually, in a way that minimises the impact on families.”
      yes we will cut it by a few % every year that will minimise the impact on families.

      Pete if you have you not yet figured it out yet, your big idol Shonkey is the naked man, who thinks he can wear a suit of the finest cut and material, But is naked and empty in reality.

      But I will say this if they (NATS) and Bracula ket back into power after November I reckon you and many like you (sort of well off, got a good job, house or 2, car or 3 couple of kids, nice and secure). Give the Nacts 3 years and your power will be horrendously expensive (owned 100% off shore (Mum and dad got screwed)) some foods will be completely out of reach, you need Power remember? Petrol ??? forget it. Oil shortage, ( just came on suddenly like a hurricane (“We didn’t see it coming” ( yeah right))) Banks fail, lots of work as a prison guard for minimum wage 6.90 an Hour. Or you can get a job as a miner in anyone of the hundreds of mines where our National parks used to be. And blue sky and nice sunny beaches forget it Smelters and iron sand recoverers pour toxins into our atmosphere. Yep welcome to NZ after it has been raped and pillaged by the rich and shameless and Pete if you ain’t got 20 million plus you gonna be in the same boat, just slightly richer shit.

      Welcome to NZ 2015 0.05% pure

      Now does that sound like the New Zealand you would want to live in ?

      Damn My imagination scares me, but is it true?

      • Jim Nald 13.2.1

        They will bleed you just enough to make you feel faint but don’t die right away.
        At least not till they get another term.
        “Just a little prick,” say the rich pricks.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Boscawen’s “face glows as his body hiccups”

    Who the frak writes this drivel???


  15. Chris 15

    Boy theres a lot of angry people on these forums. There is a life outside of politics you know :}

  16. Pascal's bookie 16

    The last time I had reason to take a gecko at a KB general debate thread, there was a pretty vocal bunch spitting and fuming about the kenyan usurper, (which is par for the course), and they were pretty confidant that the great white hope taking the form of the Trumple would pull through and rid the US of that troublesome negro come the first tuesday after the first monday in November of next year.

    This was laughable to me, even before Obama strangled its campaign in the crib, but was interesting in that it reminded me of the last time around when the mercans had their leckshuns and a similar bunch of KB yahoos were all excited about Giuliani, and that other fellow whose name escapes me but was most famous for pretending to be a tough nosed prosecutor on a popular and mediocre teevee show. The campaigns for those two prenders lasted a few months.

    Trumps, not so much. Looks like they are going to have to find themselves a new hope. The field though, is pretty thin one has to admit.

    Also, and too, the GOP is going to get The Man Called Petraeus up in front of congressional confirmation hearings and demand to know all about his views with regard to torture and such like.

    This is funny, on two counts. or possibly one count with two parts, who can tell.

    Them with memories may recall the TMC Petraeus is, in fact, Wyatt Earp. When he was given a triumph for his fortune in Iraq certain liberals were a bit rude in a mild kind of way and questioned the nature and scope of his success, and the truthfulness of some his assertions. They, for their trouble, were lynched. Motions were passed condemning the inappropriateness of statements questioning the honour of The Man Called Petraeus. It was quite the to-do.

    As time moved on, and as aside, it became a matter of interest to some about whether or not T.M.C.P. might in fact be a little bit interested in running, himself, as a Great White Hope in 2012. This came to naught however because the Kenyan asked him to lead the mission up the Khyber, which was neat trick, some might say.

    All of this sets up the situation with GOP preparing to confront T.M.C.P. about the use of torture. His views are quite well known to those that care to know, which only leaves the questions of whether the GOP is in that group thats cares to know, and if so what the fuck are playing at?

    • If you want to have some fun tomorrow morning PB hop on and make a comment like:
      “If I make a donation to the National Party will the Government buy lots of goods off my company?” and watch the response …

    • Deadly_NZ 16.2

      But did you see what that troublesome negro went and done at that correspondents dinner???? Roast Turkey, a Donald Turkey, oh it was a sight to see. And that should end that little hiccup in Obama land lol.

      • Vicky32 16.2.1

        My son told me about that, and is still laughing about it. (He, (my son) also has a Kenyan father, and calls Obama his ‘cuzzie’)

  17. bobo 17

    John Key tells Steven Sakar on hard talk “NZ finds itself in quite a strong position as its Gross debt to GDP is under 20% currently” , thanks to Cullen’s rainy day prudence, which is quite different to what Key tells the public back home that NZ could end up like Greece..

    Hardtalk clip here http://t.co/syRgyqy

    Can someone explain is “Gross debt to GDP” = public government debt??

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Yeah, it was noted some time ago that National, when it was speaking about the debt to NZ, was including private debt as well which allowed them throw around the 85% of GDP scare numbers. The only reason for them to do this would be to scare the people into accepting asset sales. If they were being honest, which seems to be inherently impossible for NACToids, they would have just counted public debt as it’s the only debt that the government can influence directly and what the asset sales would have paid off which, as you note, is only ~20% of GDP and isn’t at a level that is of any concern.

      Now, the private debt is a concern but the only way that can be influenced by government is indirectly through monetary policy changes and National, so far, haven’t done anything about that. Ergo, we can assume that just don’t care about it.

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